G. Sampson, “A Chinese Phonological Enigma”: Four Comments

  title={G. Sampson, “A Chinese Phonological Enigma”: Four Comments},
  author={Wolfgang Behr},
  journal={Journal of Chinese Linguistics},
  pages={719 - 732}
  • W. Behr
  • Published 15 October 2015
  • Linguistics
  • Journal of Chinese Linguistics
1. OC SYLLABLE STRUCTURE One point made by Professor Sampson, which cannot be emphasized too much given the rampant back-projection of Standard Mandarin syllable structure onto Old Chinese realities in the literature, is that “homophony in the Old Chinese of three thousand years ago may not have been strikingly greater than in modern European languages.” (p.2.) This could be shown in a sober statistical manner, of course, by looking at textual occurrences of distinct syllables in a good OC… 

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